A quiet and gentle spirit testifies against feminism in the church

Posted: November 6, 2013 in christian living, ecclesia, Jesus

So often when a brother comes along in a meek spirit teaching what the word of God says about the different roles of brothers and sisters in the home or among the local saints he is automatically marginalized as a legalist.  Despite this Jesus still has a powerful testimony to the feminist influenced church today that would scoff at or dismiss the clear teachings of Gods word on this subject.  They may try and explain away Paul’s epistles or say they are no longer culturally relevant.  They may even suggested that Paul was speaking outside of Gods will when addressing the sisters being silent or not having authority in certain situations.  They may accuse any brother who attempts to teach on the subject of trying to silence the sisters through a religious spirit.  Yet what can be said when they look in the eyes of a sister who has submitted herself to Gods instruction in these things and is full of the joy of the Lord for it?

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct…For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

1 Timothy 2:11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.  I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

Titus 2:4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

1 Corinthians 14:34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.  If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached?  If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.   If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.

Submitting to God’s word does not devalue sisters, make them second class citizens of heaven, or put them in bondage where they can not be used the way that the Holy Spirit wills to.  A quiet and submissive sister is actually a powerful testimony to this lost generation and its worldly church that is hell bent on destroying God’s order on the earth.   Of course these things must be worked out patiently, humbly, and cautiously by all brothers and sisters everywhere.  They must be worked out prayerfully, in the whole council of the word of God, lest one verse from Corinthians is applied in an unrighteous manner, but they must be worked out by the grace of God.   Brothers must be aware of the judgment they will receive if they go beyond Gods design in these things and become nicolatians in their own homes or the local church.  Just as sisters are given Sarah (who obeyed Abraham, calling him lord) as an example, so brothers are given the Lord Jesus Christ as a servant leader to the church for their example. 

 

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Comments
  1. amongtheforgotten says:

    Even where individuals attempt to justify opposing interpretations of such passages as above, no one can dispute where a lack of restraint leads both women and men in our societies today. Without obeying Christ, men will rule over other men and suppress women in an ungodly fashion. That is not what the verses above state nor direct. On the other hand, unrestrained women will take matters into their own hands as if they have no need for the gifts and roles of the men in their lives. They want to direct their own lives independent of men and yet this was never God’s design.

    Consider the actions and behaviors of the typical “independent” woman today and how far removed that picture is from what God Himself considers to be precious in one of His daughters. This world is full of such women, whose primary goal is to exalt themselves before men, prove themselves as equals and by using every possible means and enticement at hand.

    I can think of nothing more grotesque and unwholesome than I women flaunting her gifts and even body before the masses in an attempt to draw attention to herself. This is what we see every day about us, the “Christian” masses also willing to follow suit.

    This said, I can think of nothing more welcoming, more honorable and more precious than the sight of a godly woman who obeys the will of her Lord. That women ought to be highly esteemed, held up as a role model and be given the praise due her. Few are those to be found these days……..and if you know one, please remind her often of how necessary and how desirable a real man of God finds such as these.

  2. Al Nelson says:

    Hi Jim, God Bless. Here’s the link we talked about to add to the conversation. It’s the results of a word study I did about 4 years ago.
    http://lastdaysoftheage.wordpress.com/bible-studies/woman-be-silent/

    Hope it adds to the conversation to help us and the women understand our roles better.

    • fleebabylon says:

      Al concludes in his link:

      “In Conclusion Paul is teaching that all women, as long as they are willing to remain tranquil, peaceful, undisruptive, may be present in the assembly and able to speak at appropriate times in an appropriate manner fitting of the assembly led by Christ. This would then lead one to study and seek the Lord’s guidance on what roles are allowed for women in the assembly. And I don’t think it’s watching the kids or setting up for the monthly potluck.”

      I may not walk the exact same path as him to get to this conclusion but we both arrive at the same place!

  3. fleebabylon says:

    Reblogged this on Flee from Babylon… AKA Modern American Christianity and commented:

    For some reason this new post ended up in November, the way wordpress works if you start from a draft.

  4. John says:

    The problem is human nature. Women, by nature cannot be quiet. Men, when given too much power, will abuse it and many have abused their wives under the banner of religion. Whether physically, mentally or verbally and it is a reason why feminism came about.

    • fleebabylon says:

      ” Men, when given too much power, will abuse it and many have abused their wives under the banner of religion.”

      John, I worry that you often make no distinction between unconverted men and those who have been born again, new people being made into the very image of Christ. Among true believers in marriage the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church. He loves, gives himself for, and leads her as a servant. He is responsible for and accountable to God for things she is not. His example of how to do this in every situation is looking at all that Jesus does for us. The wife likewise submits to her husband as she would Jesus.

      Some will mention that the word of God says we all submit to one another, but a wife submits to her husband in a special way that she does not submit to other people. For instance, my wife would not submit to you as her head, but she would to me according to the word of God. I would not submit to you as my head either for that matter. God calls us to things that are often abused (christendom has abused the entirety of the word of God for that matter), but submitting should never be abused either way among true believers.

      • John says:

        Do you think converted men are doing what they are supposed do in their marriage? Loving their wives and their wives submitting to their authority? I often find that the more Conservative one gets the more this tends to be abused and often the woman is more the head of the household then the man.
        I would hope that Born again Christian men are leading by example but how do we know this?

  5. Donna Norton says:

    Jim can anybody PLEASE answer this question for me….I have asked it many times and no one has ever answered? Or knew the answer…1Cor. 14:36 Paul asks 3 questions. What?? Came the word of God out from you?? or came it unto you only?? To me he seems to be reading their “rules” then asking are you serious?? Now I could be wrong. And I sure do not want to ever be a pastor or a feminist ever. But I have always been made to feel less of a Christian because I am a woman. Not to be able to speak in the church???? ever??? I do not understand that part right there. I agree about not being the pastor and asserting authority over men… I just wanna know thanks so much dn

    • fleebabylon says:

      Donna-

      Good to hear from you sister. You said:

      “Not to be able to speak in the church???? ever???”

      I don’t see that being the case at all taking into account the whole council of God’s word. I am wondering if you could give me a practical example of how this happened to you:

      “But I have always been made to feel less of a Christian because I am a woman. ”

      Has this happened to you in an organic fellowship setting or in the religious system? I think that plays a huge roll in the discussion. Imagine that you come to our house to fellowship with my wife and I, and lets say another brother is also there. In that setting it would be quite strange to come over and not be allowed to speak a word of encouragement, edification, prophesy, etc (1 cor 11:4, acts 18:26). There is no way any real fellowship could take place if sisters being silent in the church (assembly) would literally mean not speaking a word when gathered together with other brethren under any circumstance. [edit, thought moved to end]

      I would encourage everyone to avoid worrying about extreme teachings on this subject. On one hand some teach that you are never able to speak in the church, ever. On the other hand some teach that Collosians 3:12 somehow nullifies every other thing the apostles taught about the differences for sisters and brothers. I have seen both of these to an extent, but wouldn’t include either of them in the discussion. Yet surely the apostles repeatedly make distinctions to the roles of sisters and brothers for a reason that are offensive to the flesh.

    • Paul, as an apostle of Jesus Christ, has been specially ordained by God to establish apostolic doctrine and practice [both by word and example].

      His query strikes at the hearts of those who disagree with these teachings and practices and are attempting to subvert the assemblies that have been planted by his preaching.

      He is calling into question the authority of these men to teach things contrary to what he has established according to the direction of the Holy Spirit.

      He is saying that ALL of the churches he has planted function in the same manner concerning these things [all function according to the custom that he has established]: principally, that women are neither to function authoritatively as teachers of men, nor to participate in exercising church discipline over men.

      He is NOT teaching that women are NEVER to speak, else why would he elsewhere say that all may prophesy or contribute to the assembly with a song? (1 Corinthians 14:26,31)

      The pattern for right practice in the assembly is modeled after that which is established in the home [else why is it a requirement for an elder to have his own house in order?].

      What man denies his wife the right to speak? Rather, they both speak share out of the understanding that God has granted them and work together as one body to accomplish all things according to God’s will for their lives.

      This is mutual submission, which works together seamlessly with the principle of headship [the husband being FIRST CHARGED to be the example in ALL things, including EVERYTHING that he desires to see in his wife].

      When husbands are willing to do this [be the first example in all things], they emulate Christ’s relationship with His church. As the husband’s acts in obedience to God’s commands [concerning how he should treat his wife] she is washed in the water of God’s word [is blessed by the husband’s fruit, even as we are all the beneficiaries of Christ’s obedience]: this is why women with godly husbands tend to bloom as godly wives.

      Paul says in another place [concerning hair as a covering]: “But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God,” (1 Corinthians 11:16).

      Paul says to all who disagree [are contentious and argumentative concerning what he has esablished in the churches]: “What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant,” (1 Corinthians 14:36-38).

      He is rebuking them for striving against what he has taught in 1 Corinthians 14:34. Notice, this follows his words in 1 Corinthians 14:29-33, which describes “prophets” [elders] in the church who are functioning as teachers among the assembly. The older women are to teach the younger, but women are specifically restrained from functioning as elders within the assembly.

      For which cause, he finishes with these words: “Let all things be done decently and in order,” (1 Corinthians 14:40).

      It’s just that the flesh makes it hard to see, given our past cultural training and our desire to be ‘fair’ [according to our human secular training].

      But it only takes, like, 15 years of struggling with it to get it … or at least, it did for me …

      Peace,

      Mark

      • fleebabylon says:

        Thanks Mark,

        for your well stated response.

        • fleebabylon says:

          “this is why women with godly husbands tend to bloom as godly wives.”

          On the flip side, sisters are instructed to bloom in such a way even if they have ungodly husbands…

          1 Peter 3:7

          Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God

          • True.

            My intent was to express the fact that the husband’s obedience is an act of intercession with God on his wife’s behalf–even as the obedience of parents is their chief act of intercession for their children–and that there is an additional benefit that arises when all things are done decently and in order.

            Glad you wrote this, or I would never have written that in this way.

            Peace

  6. fleebabylon says:

    “the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” 1 Peter 3

    Contrast this to the self perceived “beauty” of the loud and proud woman on a certain revival forum. She is going to say what she wants, when she wants, and how she wants. If you have a problem with it the reason is your religious spirit. She can explain away all of the verses I posted to the point that they are meaningless, after all… there is “neither male nor female” in Christ. Such women will not have their husband as a head (even meek and loving husbands) because they are too ‘spiritual’ for that. Just like the man who rules as a nicolatian, he has bible verses for that too.

  7. fleebabylon says:

    Q: What’s the point of writing such a fragile and controversial post?

    A: To encourage sisters to be like Sarah instead of a modern feminist.

    Q: How would a sister do that when gathering with saints?

    A: Anywhere between the extremes of a sister not speaking at all and a sister striving to be recognized as an elder is probably good starting ground.

  8. fleebabylon says:

    The apostles do give a few specific instructions for sisters to be reserved in certain situations, to keep a certain attitude in their homes, etc, but that verse does not apply to sharing the Gospel. The whole council of the word of God is sufficient to paint a picture of many sisters having a powerful witness for the Lord both before and after pentecost (women at the well, etc). Again, this does not nullify the places where God’s word gives general outlines for brothers and sisters in the home or assembly. If all brothers and sisters would avoid the extremes on both sides of this topic there would be very little controversy over it. Sisters who have a gentle and quiet spirit combined with evangelistic zeal (including opening their mouths and speaking) are a blessing to the body of Christ.

  9. All saints are already authorized and commissioned to preach the gospel and baptize in the name of Jesus Christ. Nothing should hinder any saint from either of those two acts of obedience.

  10. faithfulservant says:

    All saints are also authorized to exhibit and utilize the gifts given to the church, as outlined in the book of 1 Corinthians. To state that the gift of prophecy or tongues or teaching is only relevant to the male class of believers is allowing a singular verse to rule out the all encompassing nature of the power the NT Church has.

    The gifts are given for the use in the assembly – there is never any other distinction to disprove this, nor is their scripture that supports certain gifts only being useful outside of the meetings.

    When men learn, they don’t do it non-quietly do they?
    When men submit, do they do it differently than a female would?

    Paul tells Christians (all of them) to live peaceable and quiet lives..The same behavior Paul expects of women, is reasonably expected of Men in the assembly too.

    Especially if one has a word, and the other must submit to that word.

    Let the Prophets be subject to the Prophets.

    Regarding 1 Corinthians 14, this study might prove helpful.

  11. fleebabylon says:

    “Paul tells Christians (all of them) to live peaceable and quiet lives..The same behavior Paul expects of women, is reasonably expected of Men in the assembly too.”

    For sure, no one here is arguing that. Still, in some ways sisters are called to different roles in the home, and in some situations in the assembly than brothers. For instance, I do not submit to my wife as to Jesus, though in a very general sense I submit to all saints that I know love the Lord including her. She does submit to me as to Jesus and she will not submit to another man as to Jesus (though in a general sense she too submits to all saints that love the Lord).

    All this to say there is a relationship based context that determines how we practically submit to one another. This is true in the home and the local ecclessia.

    I do not mean to exaggerate the differences between brothers and sisters, just merely ask if it is still acceptable to acknowledge there are some? I feel the world is busy trying to convince me that what God’s word says on homosexuality is meaningless while the worldly church is busy trying to convince me that all of the apostolic instructions specifically for brothers and sisters are meaningless.

    In Christ -Jim

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